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Golden LEAF to offer $15M in small-business loans for COVID-19 recovery

Rocky Mount-based nonprofit Golden LEAF Foundation is launching a $15 million NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program to assist businesses suffering from economic losses due to the spread of coronavirus. The program, which will be managed by the NC Rural Center, will give loans to eligible businesses for as much as $50,000 with zero interest and no payments for six months. The loan will automatically convert to a term loan if not repaid in six months. Other program partners include Business Expansion Funding Corp., Carolina Small Business Development Fund, Mountain BizWorks, Natural Capital Investment Fund, and Thread Capital.

Small-business owners interested in applying for a loan should visit ncrapidrecovery.org or call 800-228-8443.

“The Golden LEAF Board of Directors is making funds available to help meet the immediate needs of businesses affected by the pandemic by building upon a model used following Hurricanes Matthew, Florence and Dorian,” said Bo Biggs, Golden LEAF board chair, in a press release. “This program is designed to assist businesses working to apply for a Small Business Administration Economic Injury Loan or other commercial loan but that have more immediate needs for capital.”

Golden LEAF, which manages money received from a 1999 legal settlement with the big U.S. tobacco companies, has assisted in creating 65,000 jobs in rural areas of the state over the last 20 years.

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